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Warren Campaigns With Clinton In Cincinnati — But It's Likely Not A Signal She's Joining The Ticket04:33

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Sen. Elizabeth Warren will join Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail in Ohio on Monday. The senator, pictured here in the center, sits next to Clinton, right, who spoke at John Kerry's confirmation hearing to become secretary of state in 2013. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)closemore
Sen. Elizabeth Warren will join Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail in Ohio on Monday. The senator, pictured here in the center, sits next to Clinton, right, who spoke at John Kerry's confirmation hearing to become secretary of state in 2013. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren is campaigning in Cincinnati Monday with Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.

It's their first joint appearance on the campaign trail, and it comes amid speculation Clinton is considering the progressive Massachusetts senator as her running mate.

Warren As VP? Don't Count On It

There are a number of reasons why Clinton should pick Elizabeth Warren, if you ask Andrew Green, the editorial page editor of the Baltimore Sun.

Last week, Green published an editorial with the title, "The Case For Clinton-Warren." Reason No. 1: Green said Clinton needs to reach progressives — and tap into the the kind of political passion that fueled her primary season rival Bernie Sanders' campaign.

"And Elizabeth Warren could certainly help do that in that she hits a lot of the same issues that Senator Sanders does in terms of income inequality, that the system is rigged against regular people," he explained. "And she has the policy chops to really make that case and has been doing so very well for years."

Another important reason to pick Warren, according to Green: She's a good person to have by your side in a fight.

"Senator Warren has shown herself to be a really exquisite attack dog against Donald Trump," he said.

Indeed, Warren seems to delight in this role, which is an important one for a running mate to take on. At the recent New Hampshire Democratic convention, she launched a blistering take-down of Donald Trump.

"Every day it becomes clearer that he is thin-skinned, racist bully," Warren said to cheers. "And every day it becomes clearer that he will never become President of the United States. You bet."

"Senator Warren has shown herself to be a really exquisite attack dog against Donald Trump."

Andrew Green

Warren frequently engages Trump on Twitter, calling him a bully who spews "hate-filled lies." Trump calls her "goofy" and "Pocahontas," a reference to the controversy surrounding her claims of Native American heritage.

"Pocahontas! I'm doing such a disservice to Pocahontas, it's so unfair," he said earlier this month in Richmond, Va. "... But Elizabeth Warren, she's one of the worst senators in the entire United States Senate! I hope she's going to be chosen by Hillary! Oh, I would love it!"

But there are reasons why that might not happen. Though they're campaigning together in Ohio Monday, Warren and Clinton haven't always been very close. Warren remained neutral for most of the long primary fight against Bernie Sanders. She waited until earlier this month, when Clinton became the party's presumptive nominee, before she finally endorsed her.

And in her 2003 book, Warren said Clinton's cozy connections with Wall Street caused her to flip her position on the overhaul of the country's bankruptcy laws. And if Clinton were to tap Warren, she would risk losing support from Wall Street donors.

But Barney Frank, the former Massachusetts congressman and a Clinton supporter, said picking a woman to run with would be a bold step in a political season that demands boldness.

"For Hillary Clinton to do something that would be very unconventional — a two-woman ticket — whereas in the past it might have been a problem, I think would help her," Frank said. "It would help shatter this inaccurate stereotype that she's too timid."

Does Warren Want To Be Vice President?

On the other hand, a ticket of two northeastern liberals would lack geographic or ethnic balance — an argument that might prompt Clinton to pick someone like HUD Secretary Julian Castro, who has a reputation as a rising Latino political star. But it's important to remember that this doesn't come down only to whether Clinton wants Warren to be her vice president.

"It's really about, does Elizabeth Warren want to be vice president? And I think if you're a progressive Democratic, you hope that the answer to that is 'no,' " said Susan Tracy, a former Democratic state representative and president of The Strategy Group in Boston. She said Warren is better off staying put in the Senate.

"You know, she's really taken the torch from Ted Kennedy," Tracy said. "She has so much power and so much influence, and such an important role to play in progressive politics. And quite honestly, I think that would be lost as a vice president."

But the speculation will continue as Clinton and Warren campaign together in Cincinnati. And however unlikely a Clinton-Warren ticket is, that speculation helps them both.

It allows Clinton to say to progressives, "hey, I'm considering one of your champions as my running mate." And it allows Warren to raise a very high political profile even higher.

This segment aired on June 27, 2016.

Related:

Anthony Brooks Senior Political Reporter
Anthony Brooks is WBUR's senior political reporter.

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